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because Sir Charles Bagot did not intend to sanction by their admission a thorough reconstruction of his Cabinet. Notwithstanding, however, the failure at the time of this scheme for forming a species of coalition-ministry, these two members (Messrs. Lafontaine and Baldwin) ultimately consented to take office, and had to undergo, in consequence, the ordeal of an election. Mr. Lafontaine was returned for the Third Riding of York, by a majority of 210 over his opponent; but Mr. Baldwin was nominally defeated at Hastings, whence his antagonist, an Upper Canada Tory, had a majority of forty-nine. The election, however, was rendered void in consequence of the illegal violence that took place. Before the election, M. Lafontaine issued an address to the electors, in which he said:—“By the Union of the two Provinces, the inhabitants of each are brought to participate in one common Legislature. In despite of the difference of language, of customs, and of laws, upon which some had founded hopes of fomenting discord between the population of the different sections of Canada, to the injury of all, we are yet linked together by an identity of interest. “Apart from considerations of social order, from the love of peace and political freedom, our common interests would alone establish sympathies which sooner or later must have rendered the mutual co-operation of the mass of the two populations necessary to the march of government. “Without such co-operation, neither peace, welfare, nor good vernment can exist in the two mited Provinces . .
“The political contest commenced at the last session has resulted in a thorough union in Parliament between the members who represent the majority of both populations. That union secures to the Provincial Government solid support in carrying out those measures which are required to establish peace and contentment. “In the present state of public affairs, I now see realised views in which I havefondly indulged, which I have long fostered, and which I expressed publicly in my address to the electors of Terrebonne of the 25th of August, 1840. “All parties have at last united to declare that the co-operation of the French Canadian population is necessary to the working of the Government.” It is a remarkable circumstance that three successive Governors of Canada have died very soon after they have been elevated to that important post. Lord Durham's health gave way before he returned to England, where he expired shortly after his arrival. Lord Sydenham closed his career before he was able to leave the Province, and now a third Governor was to be added to the melancholy list. Sir Charles Bagot became at the latter end of the year so dangerously unwell, as to give the greatest alarm to his friends. He prorogued the Parliament on the 12th of October, and in a short speech, he thanked the Legislature for the zeal and assiduity with which they had considered and perfected the measures of the session, as well as for the supplies they had voted and exhorting the members to use their personal influence in the several districts to promote the harmony and good feeling which it had been his endeavour to establish.
At the end of the year he left Canada for England, as the state of his health rendered it impossible for him to remain, and shortly after his return he died. The following letter from Lord Stanley (Secretary for the Colonies) to Sir Charles Bagot, is important as being in fact the ground upon which in the following year (1843) the Imperial Parliament passed an act whereby Canadian corn and flour were admitted into British ports at a duty merely nominal. It will be seen that the reason assigned by Lord Stanley for not making a further reduction in duties on Canadian wheat and wheat-flour during the present year, was the proximity of Canada to the United States, and the danger of corn from the latter country finding its way into Great Britain through Canada, as Canadian produce. This danger as Lord Stanley intimated, might be obviated by the imposition of a tax at the frontier upon all corn imported into Canada from the United States; but, unless the Colonial Legislature adopted this course and received into its own exchequer, the proceeds of the taxSir Robert Peel's Government were unwilling to propose such a restrictive duty upon American produce, to be levied by the authority of the Imperial Parliament. Next year, as will be seen in our next volume, a bill was passed by the Imperial Parliament for admitting Canadian corn and flour at 1s. Eper quarter duty into the home markets, in consequence of the duty on American corn which was imposed by the Colonial Legislature. The following is Lord Stanley's letter.
“Downing-street, 2nd March, 1842.
“Sir—In the anxious consideration which it has been the duty of her Majesty's Government to give to the important and complicated question of the importation of corn into this country, they have of course not overlooked the interest which is felt in this question by the province of Canada, and which has been expressed in memorials from the Legislative body, and from other parties, addressed to Her Majesty and to the Legislature of this country; and although in present circumstances Her Majesty's Government have not felt themselves justified in recommending to Parliament a compliance with the general request of the various memorials that Canadian corn and flour should be imported, at a nominal duty, into the United Kingdom, I trust that the steps which we have taken, and the ground upon which we have declined to advance further in the same direction, will convince the people of Canada that the course which we have pursued, has been dictated by no unfriendly feeling towards the interests of Canada, and especially of Canadian agriculture.
“The steps which have been taken, so far as they go, have been decidedly in favour of those interests. By the law as it has hitherto stood, Canadian wheat, and wheat flour, have been admissible into Great Britain at a rate of duty estimated at 5s. per quarter, until the price in the English market reached 67s., at which amount the duty fell to 6d. By the bill which is now before Parliament, the duty of 5s. is leviable only while the price is below 55s, and at 58s. falls to 1s. only. But in addition to this reduction in the amount of price at which the lower duty becomes payable, it is purposed to take off the restriction which has hitherto been imposed upon the importation of Canadian flour into Ireland, and thus to open a new market to that which may justly be considered as one of the manufactures of Canada. “In the measures which they have adopted, not without the most anxious attention to the various interests involved, Her Majesty's Government have been desirous, while they gave a general facility of admission to the British market, of disturbing as little as possible the relative advantages possessed by the colonial and foreign supplies of that market. In this sense, while they have continued to the Channel Islands the facilities which they have heretofore enjoyed, of a free importation of their own produce (limited as it necessarily is in extent) into Great Britain, together with the means which they at present enjoy of having their own supplies furnished from the neighbouring and cheaper market, they have not felt themselves called upon to remove from the Isle of Man the restrictions which have been recently imposed on that island as to its foreign imports, while it possesses the advantages of an unrestricted commerce with Great Britain. The same principle has guided her Majesty's Government in the course which they have felt it their duty to pursue with regard to Canada. It is impossible to be more fully convinced than are the Members of her Majesty's Government, of the importance to the interests both of the Colony and of the Mother-country of maintaining between the two the most unrestricted freedom of commercial in
tercourse. Even a cursory examination of facts and figures must demonstrate the value to be attached in a commercial, and much more in a moral and political point of view, to the continuance and improvement of that rapidly increasing intercourse; and Her Majesty's Government would have had much less difficulty in approaching the question of an unrestricted admission of Canadian wheat and flour into the British markets, if it had been in their power to look on that question as one of intercourse between Great Britain and her most important colony, and independent of all considerations of foreign trade. “But it was impossible for Her Majesty's Government so to regard it. It was impossible that they should not advert to the geographical position of Canada, in reference to the great corn-growing States of the West of America. It was impossible not to see that, however desirable it might be even to encourage the transit through Canada of the produce of those States, with the advantage to Canada of any manufacturing process which it might undergo in the transit, a relaxation of duty to the extent of free or nearly free admission would have been a relaxation not limited as in this case it ought to be, to the produce of a British colony. “It is true that the Imperial Parliament, at the time that they admitted Canadian produce at a nominal duty, might constitutionally have imposed a corresponding duty upon the import of American wheat into Canada, and might thus have placed a check upon the undue influx of foreign under the name of Canadian produce; but whatever might be the view taken by her Majesty's Government, under a different state of circumstances, in which a tax imposed by colonial authority and of course receivable into the Colonial Treasury, upon wheat imported from the United States might secure the agriculturists of England against the competition of foreign growers, they have been unwilling to impose such a tax, by the authority of Parliament, upon a raw article which might be required for home consumption in Canada, and in the absence of such a tax, have felt it impossible to propose to Parliament a further reduction than that which they have submitted in favour of wheat, and wheat-flour shipped from the ports of Canada.” In accordance with this suggestion, a resolution was moved in the House of Assembly by Mr. Hincks to impose a duty of 3s. sterling per imperial quarter upon American wheat imported into Canada—such duty to take effect on the 5th of July next. The preamble expressed confidence, that upon the imposition of a duty in Canada upon American wheat imported into the province, such wheat would be admitted duty free, or rather as Canadian wheat, into the ports of Great Britain. The resolution was carried, and a bill was afterwards introduced embracing the substance of the resolutions and was passed into a law. THE MARQUESAs AND SocIETY Islands IN THE PAcific. — An event took place this year in the Pacific ocean which indicated that France was alive to the advantages derived by Great Britain from the extensive system of colonisation which she has so long encouraged, and that the former Power was on the watch to seize any opportunity that might arise for bringing the Vol. LXXXIV.
remotest regions under subjection to her flag. The Marquesas are a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean in long. W. 139° and lat. S. 10°. Not far to the S. W. lie the Society Islands, and the principal of these is Tahiti or Otaheite, where since their first discovery by Captain Cook, the efforts of missionaries and intercourse with European traders have done much to civilize the inhabitants. So early as in the year 1825 Pomare the Queen of Tahiti sent a letter to King George 4th, in which she begged permission to use the English flag, and prayed that he “would never abandon them but regard them with kindness for ever.” To this in 1827, Mr. Canning, then Fo. reign Secretary, replied that His Britannic Majesty could not “consistently with the usages established among the nations of Europe” comply with the request to use the British flag, but that His Majesty would be happy to afford to the dominions of Queen Pomare all such protection as could be granted to a friendly power at so remote a distance. In 1836 Queen Pomare sent a letter to Lord Palmerston (through the medium of Mr. Pritchard the British consul at Tahiti) requesting to know whether the Roman Catholic missionaries who “belong to France” and persisted in coming to Tahiti and “disturbing the peace of her Government” were sanctioned by the British Government. The following year Lord Palmerston replied that the British Government could not in any manner interfere with the residence of foreigners in a territory that did not appertain to Great Britain. But the usage of the French
missionaries was made a pretext by France for very summary proceedings with this defenceless state. On the 30th of August 1838, the French frigate Venus commanded by Admiral A. Dupetit-Thouars, appeared off Tahiti, and immediately sent on shore a letter of which the following is a translation. “To the Queen of Otaheite. “Madame, “The King of the French and his Government, justly irritated for the outrages offered to the nation, by the bad and cruel treatment which some of his members who did come to Otaheite have suffered, and especially Messrs. Laval and Carret, apostolic missionaries, who called at this island in 1836, has sent me to reclaim and enforce, if necessary, immediate reparation, due to a great Power and a valiant nation, who was gravely insulted, and without provocation. “The King and his Government demand :— “1st. That the Queen of Otaheite write to the King of the French, to excuse for the violence and other insults offered to Frenchmen, whose honourable conduct did not deserve such a treatment. The letter of the Queen will be written in Tahitian and in the French language, and both will be signed by the Queen ; the said letter of reparation will be sent officially to the Commander of the frigate the Wenus, within twenty four hours after the present notification. “2nd. A sum of 2,000 Spanish dollars will be paid within the twenty-four hours of the present notification unto the cashier of the frigate Venus, as an indemnification for Messrs. Laval and Carret, for the loss occasioned to them by the bad treatment they received at Otaheite.
“ 3rd. After having complied with these two first obligations, the French colours will be hoisted the 1st day of September, on the Island Motu-Uta, to be saluted by the Tahitian government with twenty-one guns. “I declare to your Majesty, that if they do not subscribe to give the reparation asked for, within the limited time, I shall see myself under the obligation to declare war, and to commence hostilities immediately, against all the places of your Majesty's dominions, and which will be continued by all the French vessels of war which will successively call here, and will last to the time when France will have obtained satisfaction. “I am, &c., “The Captain of the French “Frigate Venus, (Signed) “A. DUPETIT-THou ARs.” In consequence of this threat, a convention was agreed to by the Tahitian government in the month of September, by which all Frenchmen of every profession were to be allowed to establish themselves and trade freely in all the islands subject to Queen Pomare. But the aversion to the introduction of any form of doctrine and worship different from that which Protestant missionaries had taught seems to have been very strong, and in November of that year (1838) a letter was despatched from the Queen and Chiefs of Tahiti to Queen Victoria, in which they prayed for protection and assistance from England and used the following language, “Let your flag cover us, and your lion defend us; determine the form through which we could shelter ourselves lawfully under your wings.”